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Health Budget Crisis Looming, Where's Will?

26 Jul 2016

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Tasmanian Budget is heading for crisis with an estimated $1.8 billion in Federal cuts to health beginning from 1 July next year. If these cuts aren't reversed, they'll devastate our public hospitals and health services.

The Liberals are back in government in Canberra. Premier Hodgman needs to seek an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister and fight to restore Tasmania's fair share of Federal health funding as he told Tasmanians he would after the first and second harsh Abbott budgets.

We've heard nothing from the Premier, Treasurer or Health Minister about any planned rescue of Tasmania's public health system. They've been silent while the clock ticks down to 1 July 2017.

In May last year, the Premier vowed to lobby his Federal colleagues for the State's fair share, but has almost nothing to show for it.

Tasmanians who rely on quality public health services deserve better than the inaction they are getting from Will Hodgman's 'do nothing' Government.

Premier Hodgman said he would fight to have the funding restored to protect essential services in Tasmania. If it's not restored, we are going to see significant and dire impacts on our public hospitals.

GetUp's analysis shows the Launceston General Hospital will lose $290 million over the next decade, with the Royal Hospital set to lose over $470 million.

These funding woes in public health are untenable. We have the nation’s oldest and fastest ageing population, and a significant chronic disease burden that, tragically, is not improving.

All the research tells us that an investment in the health of people is an investment in a healthy, productive economy.

Why isn't the Premier talking about the cuts to health and why isn't he on the plane to Canberra to deliver on his promise to Tasmanians?